ADFF Returns with its 14th Season! 🎬

The 2022/23 Season of the Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF) is returning this fall with both virtual and in-person Festivals held in NY, Toronto, Vancouver, LA, and DC, with additional cities to be announced. The Festival’s 14th edition will offer a diverse selection of films from over eleven countries, demonstrating the impact of design on numerous industries including fashion, real estate, art, architecture, urban planning, and housing.

ADFF:22/23 Program Explores Design’s Impact from Fashion to Architecture with an Environmental and Global Lens

The Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) is thrilled to announce the launch of the 2022/23 season. Now in its fourteenth edition, the event, which is popular with all design lovers, will showcase a diverse program of films that investigate design’s impact, environmentally and culturally, on the worlds of fashion, real estate, art, architecture, urban planning, and housing. The program features a curated selection of inspiring films and talks that offer insights into the lives and works of global design visionaries and will include films from over eleven countries, including Finland, Denmark, Brazil, Greece, and Italy.

The new season will kick off with ADFF:NY (September 28-October 2), followed by ADFF:Toronto (November 2-5), ADFF:Vancouver (November 9-12), ADFF:LA (January 19-22), and ADFF:DC (January 26-29), with additional festival cities to be announced. The Festival will also make its virtual appearance for those who live in the US or Canada at ADFF:ONLINE (February 8-17).

ADFF:22/23 will showcase six U.S. premieres and the world premiere of Robin Hood Gardens, a German documentary on the challenges of preservation. The Festival will open with Fashion Reimagined, an inspiring documentary that explores Mother of Pearl designer Amy Powney’s trajectory as she sets out to create a collection that’s ethical and sustainable at every level, from fiber to finished garment. Other design luminaries include legendary Dutch architect Winy Maas, Danish design pioneer Grethe Meyer, and Finnish artist and one of the first designers for Marimekko, Maija Isola.

In each city, the films will be preceded by introductions from special guests and followed by insightful Q&As with the filmmakers. The complete Festival program, including speaker lineup and dates for ticket sales can be found online at For regular updates on all ADFF announcements, programming, and news about upcoming Festivals, follow @ADFILMFEST on its social media channels.

Film Program

Additional films and speakers to be announced

Alice Street
2020 / 70 min / USA
Director: Spencer Wilkinson
Alice Street is a compelling story of how two artists in Oakland come together as a community to adjust the process and pace of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Pancho Peskador, a Chilean studio painter, and Desi Mundo, a Chicago-born aerosol artist, form an unlikely partnership to tackle a four-story mural at a unique intersection where Chinese and Afro-Diasporic communities face the imminent threat of displacement and gentrification. Three months after the conclusion of the mural, the construction of a luxury condominium threatens to demolish the artwork, forcing the artists and the community to rally once again to protect its history, voice, and land. The film delivers a universal message, demonstrating that the change process has a better chance of success when communities work in unison with developers.

Beyond the Life of Forms
2021 / 63 mins / Italy
Directors: Francesco Conversano, Nene Grignaffini
US Premiere
Beyond the Life of Forms is a story dedicated to two works by two great Italian architects of the twentieth century – Carlo Scarpa’s Brion funeral complex in San Vito d’Altivole and Aldo Rossi’s San Cataldo Cemetery in Modena. The film layers architectural images and spoken words from the architect of record and others’ voices, demonstrating the contrast in Scarpa and Rossi’s work and thus their respective views about life on this earth and afterlife. The audience embarks on two separate emotional and symbolic journeys into the visionary universe of the two architects – a trip beyond the life of forms.

Builders, Housewives and the Construction of Modern Athens
2021 / 87 min / Greece
Directors: Tassos Langis, Yiannis Gaitanidis
US Premiere
The city of Athens is so much more than the classical architecture that adorns it since there is a vibrant energy, buzz, and density that fills its streets and neighborhoods. Builders, Housewives and the Construction of Modern Athens unveils a new perspective of the city, examining the most distinctive Athenian building type – the polykatoikía – and the city’s reconstruction by the anonymous lay builders and their housewives, who were the most unlikely “co-authors.” The documentary takes a deep dive into the lives of the provincials who came to Athens after the Civil War and shed light on how they developed their craft and communicated with the educated architects. Based on the book with the same title by Ioanna Theocharopoulou, the film proposes a fascinating account of the provincials’ role and encounter with the “project of modernity.”

Building Bastille! The Tangled and Improbable story of the Opera Bastille
2021 / 76 mins / Canada
Director: Leif Kaldor
US Premiere
A half a billion dollar project, a crushing architectural challenge, an impossible deadline, two warring political titans, and a blind competition. What could go wrong? The film is set in 1982 France when the new socialist President Mitterrand opens a blind competition to build an opera at the site of the notorious Bastille Prison. The jury selects the best design, a drawing that looks like the hand of prominent American architect Richard Meier but is a submission from an unknown and inexperienced Canadian architect Carlos Ott. Building Bastille! is a feature-length documentary that tells the comedic, dramatic, and tangled story of modern history’s most remarkable case of mistaken identity and seized opportunity. Drama ensues when right-wing Jacques Chirac is elected Prime Minister, and his hatred of Mitterrand causes him to place a stop work order on the Opera. But like all French politics, nothing is what it seems.

Concrete Landscape
2022 / 72 mins / Brazil
Directors: Laura Artigas, Luiz Ferraz
US Premiere
Concrete Landscape presents a narrative view of the life of Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza, highlighting small strokes of remarkable moments that have changed and influenced his work and daily life. The film explores his relationship with Brazil, including his familial roots and the Ibere Camargo Institution – Siza’s only building in his country.

Fashion Reimagined
2022 / 100 min / UK
Director: Becky Hunter
Can one woman change the course of an entire industry? Maybe. Fashion Reimagined follows Amy Powney, designer of the London brand Mother of Pearl and the daughter of environmental activists who raised her on a remote eco-friendly homestead, as she sets out to create a collection that’s ethical and sustainable at every level, from fiber to finished garment. Powney’s journey takes a deep dive into the supply chain, uncovering its destructive cycle from deforestation, animal mutilation to farmer suicide. Set across three continents, her narrative is a modern retelling of the David and Goliath story that features a fiercely determined young woman fighting a complex behemoth while exposing the cost of our consumption along the way.

2021 / 77 min / Russia
Director: Nastia Korkia
In 2014, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop was tasked by V–A–C Foundation to transform GES-2, a 20,000 sq meter former power plant in Moscow, into a new, global cultural institution providing cultural energy for all. With intimate access to workers, builders, project supervisors, and architects, the director offers an up-close portrait of the transformation of this remarkable building into a cultural center. Interlacing the events in an unconventional and non-chronological order, the film provides a dose of humor on an often unexplored topic in design.

Grethe Meyer – The Danish Porcelain Queen
2021 / 96 min / Denmark
Director: Isabel Bernadette Brammer
US Premiere
Globally renowned for its simplicity, functionality, and longevity, Danish design rose to popularity during the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of Danish Design in the 1940s and 1950s. Grethe Meyer – The Danish Porcelain Queen narrates the story of Grethe Meyer – one of the few pioneering women who, despite the enormous consequences, created classic designs such as the Royal Copenhagen Blue Edge set. Combining humanist thinking with an almost scientific methodology, Meyer analyzed her way into all her designs – working, reworking, and testing – in a man’s world.

Maija Isola – Master of Colour and Form
2021 / 90 mins / Finland
Director: Leena Kilpeläinen
Finnish artist Maija Isola was one of the first designers of Marimekko – the Finnish design brand known for its vibrant and original prints and colors worldwide. Having designed over 500 prints during her 38-year tenure at the company, Maija not only revolutionized Finnish homes in the 1950s and 60s with her fabric designs but also extended the brand’s reach overseas to cities like New York and Tokyo. The film traces the footsteps of Maija, an avid traveler who has lived in various cities and countries throughout her life. Presented through archive material, new fictive footage, animations, and film clips, the film explores the artist’s life, sources of inspiration, legacy, and the secret behind the success of her nature-inspired fabrics.

Robin Hood Gardens
2022 / 70 mins / Germany
Directors: Thomas Beyer, Adrian Dorschner
World Premiere
Robin Hood Gardens is a story of complexity and contradiction in modern architecture. Built by British architects Alison & Peter Smithson, the controversial East-London council estate was not only unloved by its first residents in 1972 but also garnered divisive responses from internationally-renowned critics. Decades later, the brutalist building was demolished to pave the way for site redevelopment yet simultaneously exhibited at the Venice Biennale. In light of the estate’s 50th anniversary, the documentary offers surprising insights from residents and critics and presents a second look at the construction of the ostracized project.

Under Tomorrow’s Sky
2021 / 71 mins / Netherlands
Director: Jan Louter
US Premiere
Renowned architect and urbanist Winy Maas is passionate about finding innovative solutions for the city of the future. As the co-founder of MVRDV Architects and director of The Why Factory think tank at the Delft University of Technology, Maas advocates for ‘high rises on a human scale’ – stacked structural volumes with open spaces and greenery around them that feel like vertical villages – instead of uniform tower blocks. From sincere discussions with clients to challenging design meetings and construction site visits in Asia, Under Tomorrow’s Sky provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Maas’ professional life and explores how his designs can keep future cities compact and liveable.


Founded in 2009, the Architecture & Design Film Festival celebrates the creative spirit that drives architecture and design. Through a curated selection of films, events, and panel discussions, ADFF creates an opportunity to educate, entertain, and engage all types of people who are excited about architecture and design. It has grown into the world’s largest film festival devoted to the subject with an annual festival in New York and satellite events around the world. For more information, visit or @ADFILMFEST on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.